The People’s National Convention (PNC) has said it has been unable to sponsor more of its members to contest in the 2020 parliamentary election because of the filing fee charged by the Electoral Commission.
Flagbearer of the party, David Apasera, said although the PNC planned to file nomination for about 100 parliamentary candidates, it managed to do so for only 36 aspirants due to the electoral management body’s decision to increase the fees for presidential candidates by 100 per cent.
“Certainly, we had problems with money. We wanted to file as many as 100 parliamentary candidates, but we couldn’t because we were not able to raise that money. So, we got 36 parliamentary aspirants. We had the same problem as the other parties. We have a soft copy of the register that they have compiled and when you want to compare, you will get to see that the code is wrong. So I think that the Electoral Commission must do a clean-up or correction,” he told Citi FM.
In 2016, presidential candidates of the various political parties filed nominations at GH¢50,000 whilst parliamentary candidates paid GH¢10,000.
However, when the EC opened nominations for the 2020 elections, it maintained the fees for the parliamentary candidates but increased that of the presidential candidates to GH¢100,000.
Contrary to agitations by smaller political parties and other electoral stakeholders over the outrageous fees, the EC said the increment was justified.
Many of the smaller political parties in Ghana kicked against the GH¢100,000 filing fee for presidential aspirants.
Nana Ofori Owusu, the National Chairman of the Progressive People’s Party, said the Electoral Commission’s decision was insensitive and “at variance to the economic conditions of Ghana right now.”
“Are we saying the EC is not part of Ghana’s economy or are they not recognising the situation we are in that we have stagnated growth in our economy,” he asked.
Mr Owusu said his party expected a reduction from GH¢50,000 to GH¢25,000.
His party unsuccessfully challenged an increment in filing fees in court back in 2016 when it was raised to GH¢50,000.
The party maintained that the EC should not look for profit in the electoral process.
“The Electoral Commission was not set up to be a money-making organisation which is why they are wholly-funded and our taxpayers’ money goes to support the work of the Electoral Commission.”